Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bacon Fest 2K6: results and reflections.

I know some of you have been anxiously awaiting the results of Bacon Fest 2K6. First, let me say that Colin has already written a fantastic recap.

Here are the pictures on Flickr: start here. I wrote a lot of notes with the pictures, but I have some things to add. In addition to the 8 different bacons, we also tested cooking methods: microwaving, pan-frying, and broiling. Surprisingly (at least to me, since I always cook bacon in the microwave), pan-frying was the clear winner.

After we tested the types of bacon and cooking methods, the gluttony began. We had BLTs and other sandwiches (which Colin calls "bacon butties") and then resorted to eating the bacon straight. Nine people consumed about 6 to 8 pounds of bacon. (Also, 2 people left after the first tasting round, so it was more like 7 people.) The apartment smelled like bacon for days. Mmm...

My favorite bacon was Wellshire Farms (my comment: "very salty, but delicious"), and my least favorite was Hempler's ("too fatty, not enough flavor"). I also correctly identified which bacon was the "supermarket control" (ie, Oscar Mayer). My comment about first place winner Niman Ranch (and my second choice overall): "Seems really fattening, but that's good for bacon." (I can't come close other participants' comments, however: "rich, complex, superb mouth-feel", "notes of duck", and the somewhat frightening "nice sensation.")

A nice surprise was that Nate and I have successfully passed the all-important BCT (Bacon Compatibility Test): we both chose the same bacon as our favorite, least favorite, and we both correctly identified the supermarket bacon!

This was seriously one of the coolest things I've done. From the scientific method to eating almost a pound of bacon, it was a great day. Onward to Bacon Fest 2K7!

Trivia Night report, 2/22.

First place! Fred really outdid himself this week--there were some great categories. "What do these things have in common?", "who said this quote: Woody Allen or George W. Bush?", and "music: songs about other people".

Did you know that Simon and Garfunkel sang a song about Frank Lloyd Wright?

And the last trivia night at the EMP has been announced: it's March 15. The Ides of March!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bacon Fest 2K6.

Everyone in Seattle who reads my blog should have an invitation already. But I had to post this to show my (like, 4) other readers what they're missing when they didn't take me up on the super-cheap flights to Seattle: Bacon Fest 2K6.

(I am just going to paste Colin's email in its entirety. I couldn't have expressed it better myself.)

Ladies and gentlemen, the much anticipated Bacon Fest 2K6 has been scheduled for this coming Sunday at 2PM! What is Bacon Fest 2K6? Well, the details of the format are still being hammered out by a team of expert officials working around the clock, but we can tell you that the marquee event will consist of a blind taste testing of several different types of bacon. Types of bacon may include different artisan brands or different methods of curing & smoking the meat. After the taste testing, there will probably be additional bacon available for further consumption - perhaps in the form of BLTs. Palate cleansers will also be available.
WHAT: Bacon Fest 2K6
WHERE: Kate & Nate's House of Bacon
WHEN: Sunday, February 19th, 2:00 PM

BRING: Yourself. If you want, you can also bring snacks and
beverages. If there's a particular bacon that you love and adore and you would like to have it included in the taste-testing, feel free to bring some (and make sure that you're on time!).
RSVP: Yes! Please let me know if you're planning to attend so that we
can best judge how much bacon we need. We'd hate to run out. You're welcome to bring a friend but please let us know in advance.
This is the bacon-themed event of the season that you *won't* want to

Would it be too dorky to say that Colin and I just had dinner and we discussed how to perform the double-blinding of the bacons so that we can fully participate in the analysis?

Trivia Night report, 2/15.

Happy day after Valentine's Day! What better way to celebrate than with categories like famous couples, generic love, love gone wrong in literature, love gone wrong in movies, Valentine's Day in history, movie star breakups, and love songs?

So this week was weird. I don't think we've ever felt more confident about our answers than we did this week, but we got a so-so score (32) and we didn't even place in the top 3.

All this was overshadowed, however, by the sad sad rumor circulating. Word on the street is that the EMP's restaurants were bought by an outside party and trivia night is ending. Perhaps as early as next week.

This could have been your penultimate (regular Wednesday version) Trivia Night report! Whatever will you do? (Seriously, whatever will I do? I am SO upset by this news!)

Extra Trivia Night at the Jones, 2/12.

So we went to a new trivia night on Sunday at the Jones. Questions were harder than at the EMP, but the food was WAY better. DELICIOUS fries. Maybe some of the best fries I've had in Seattle.

We didn't win--we were in a runoff for second place, but lost that--and we had a minor (okay, not so minor) argument with Fred over an answer. His question: What is the shortest complete sentence in the English language? Our answer: Be. His answer: I am. And he wasn't really willing to hear our arguments, namely, that the subject "you" is implied.

Oh well. We'll be back. The french fries were amazing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Happy anniversary to me.

One year ago today, I arrived in Seattle!

Thanks, Seattle, for the great year. I baked you a molten chocolate cake to celebrate.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Attempting disinterest (but it's just a front).

So Kristen from Give Me Some Food actually asked me to do one of those internet-y meme things. Really?! I sort of told myself I'd never do one (I viewed them as kind of like those Valentine's Day candygrams [BTW, happy V-day everyone!] you send in high school--you send them to your friends and then spend the day worrying if you're going to get one back, and they're not really all that exciting, anyway), but maybe that was just because no one invited me! Once I started, it was pretty fun.

And hey, if super blogger celebrity Kottke can do it, so can I! (I still kind of cheated a little, though.)

Anyway, here it is, my four things.

Four jobs I've had: ice cream scooper, chemistry lab teaching assistant, Kaplan SAT prep class teacher, medical writer.

Four movies I could watch over and over: Um. I don't really watch movies over and over. Maybe Legally Blonde and Bring It On, because I used to watch those a lot with my old roommate? In elementary school I used to watch Lady and the Tramp a lot, but that was because the after-school program teachers would always show it whenever we had days off of school. (Instead, should I do "four books I could read over and over"? These books are the equivalent of a security blanket for me: Circle of Friends, High Fidelity, The Shipping News, This Boy's Life.)

Four places I've lived (I am doing five--I have only lived in five places, ever): Westmont NJ, Voorhees NJ, Providence RI, Somerville MA, Seattle WA. (Oh wait--I lived in Medford MA too. But that was close enough to Somerville to count it as one.)

Four TV shows I love (I am choosing shows that are on tv now): Project Runway, The Office, Gilmore Girls, Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

Four highly regarded TV shows that I have never watched a minute of: Lost, 24, Deadwood, The Shield.

Four places I've vacationed: I don't get the point of this one. I've been to a ton of different places. Instead I'm doing the last four places I've visited that have required a plane or longish car ride: Boston, Las Vegas, Portland OR, Voorhees NJ.

Four of my favorite dishes: lavash bread pizza and cheap wine, bhangan bharta and/or mattar paneer and garlic naan, sushi (eel and avocado, spicy tuna, anything salmon), grilled cheese and tomato soup. (Seriously, there are WAY more than four: falafel from East Side Pockets in Providence, french fries with lots of ketchup, the bacon that I made as part of Christmas dinner, Granny Smith apples and peanut butter, pickles, chocolate cake doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts...okay, I should stop now.)

Four sites I visit daily: Gmail, eGullet...and it's way more than four, because daily I visit everyone I've linked to on my blog.

Four places I'd rather be right now: in Boston before a huge snowstorm with lots of books and movies and food and baking supplies and alcohol (and in my dream I don't have to leave the house for a week and every single person I like in Boston lives a block away and can trudge through the snow to reach me), right in the front at a small-venue concert of one of my favorite bands (we can start with something like CYHSY, but if this is my dream: Wilco or the Shins), at Trivia Night, driving across country from Boston to Seattle.

And I'm not going to tag anyone, because it's like the candygram thing: what if no one does it? Then I'll feel bad. But if you want to, you should do it! It's totally fun.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Trivia Night report, 2/8.

Second place! But we had 37 points--definitely an impressive score.

So there was a Friends category. Did you know that John Stamos (a guest star on some Friends episodes) is an occasional drummer for the Beach Boys?! Uncle Jesse and Brian Wilson, together? That's the strangest thing I've heard about a Full House alum since I learned that Dave Coulier was the subject of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know." (Seriously: the image of Alanis in the Joey from Full House is just too weird. [Did he bring that chipmunk puppet?])

Tomorrow night: a new trivia night (still with Fred) at The Jones. We're going mostly because it's the first night and Fred said we'd win. Also, they have french fries, apparently! (Normal Wednesday night EMP trivia does not offer french fries, sadly.)

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I think The Office might just be the best sitcom I have ever watched regularly. Ever.

And I am not just saying that because I did some Google-stalking and found out that one of the stars graduated in 2002 from my college.

(Also, Fred once analyzed my sitcom preferences, and I've discovered that I like one-camera sitcoms with no laugh track. Anyone have suggestions for me?)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Let the cool goddess rust away.

Question: If every single time I go running I listen to the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album, will I eventually get sick of it and associate it with sweating/soreness/tired lungs/etc, or will I continue to be a tiny (and I mean tiny) bit excited about going for a run, because then I get to listen to CYHSY's album in its entirety? (The only time I ever unshuffle my iPod is for running and plane rides when I'm trying to relax/sleep. Running music is CYHSY; before I got that cd it was the New Radicals. Plane music is the Notwist or Beth Orton. Please add "predictable" to your adjectives-that-describe-Kate list.)

Anyway, you may hear more about this "running" thing in coming weeks, because I am now officially signed up for the half marathon. At this point, I have no idea how training for that distance is going to happen. The CYHSY album is about 40 minutes long. That gives you an indication of where I am in my training (ie, a long way from 13.1 miles)...

At least I get a trip to Vancouver out of the deal.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Recap, of sorts.

I tend to like to group my blog posts into semi-thematic categories. You get the trivia night ones, you get the food ones, you get the I-got-drunk-and-sang-karaoke ones. And now, we will inaugurate a recap/grab-bag type of post here at Trivial Kate. Enjoy!

Last week Nate was in Japan for work. (Insert jealous whining here.) So there were nights of bad reality tv and my typical bachelorette dinner of lavash bread pizza and cheap wine (it's a coincidence I'm linking to that post because there was some standard ennui, as well), nights of beer celebrating Teman's brief return to Seattle, and, of course, Trivia Night.

On Thursday I took a math placement test for a class I'm planning on taking (more on this later). I needed to pass the equivalent of high school pre-algebra, so I wasn't too worried. I knew I was doing well when I speeded through the algebra problems and went straight to the trig and pre-calculus. I somehow remembered that the sin of pi
/2 is zero, and then the questions got much harder after that.

Here's something cool: Tamara Murphy (the chef from Brasa, home of the most fantastic happy hour in Seattle) is writing a blog called The Life of a Pig. It's going to follow 5 piglets from their life on the farm to a feast at Brasa. As long as I don't see the slaughtering, I am all for this. I think it's important to know what your meat looks like as an animal, and it definitely sounds like these pigs are treated extremely well during their lives. (I know that I should probably be fine with the slaughtering, too. Sorry, I'm not there yet.)

Finally, the Superbowl. That was mostly a let-down, especially after last year. And the commercials weren't even that great. Oh well. We made a delicious bean dip with an ingenious bean dip matrix: one quadrant had 10 layers (including both sour cream and olives), 2 quadrants had 9 (each omitting either sour cream or olives), and the last quadrant had 8 (no sour cream or olives). I'm not sure if people noticed/cared, but it was completely eaten by the first quarter.

And did anyone else notice Seattle's choice of entrance music? Here's a quote from a Slate article: "But perhaps Seattle brought this on themselves by coming out of the tunnel to The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony." Note to the Seahawks: That's probably not the best choice of pump-up tunes. Next time, why not just play Beck's "Loser"?"

Seriously! "Bittersweet Symphony"?! What happened to "We Are the Champions"? "Who Let the Dogs Out", even? Or why not a Seattle band? I am positive that you could find something more inspiring and fist-pumping than The Verve among Nirvana/Soundgarden/Alice in Chains/Pearl Jam. Hell, what about Modest Mouse?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Trivia Night report, 2/1.

After a many many many week drought (I am too lazy to look back and count), we won! Yay!

I was extremely thankful for the rest of my team when faced with categories like politics, hamburgers, the Superbowl, planets, and Quentin Tarantino movies. I do feel that I was able to contribute a little to current events, the boy bands musical category, and one of the all-time best trivia categories in the history of trivia night: "Answers That Sound Dirty." (For example: Lake Titicaca, Arsenal, Balzac.)

I attained the dubious honor of being the only one on my team to recognize "All 4 Love" (please note the "4" instead of "for") as a Color Me Badd song.